Resources for part-time professors in light of COVID-19 in-person teaching cancellation

Dear Colleagues,

As you know, COVID-19 is a highly contagious respiratory illness that has become an epidemic, and lacking a vaccine ‘social-distancing’ is for the moment the only real tool to combat it. Accordingly, schools which operate on the basis of large public gatherings are closing. On March 13, the University of Ottawa announced that: “as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020 all in-person classes and labs in the current (Winter 2020) term will be moved to distance and online learning formats for the rest of the semester.” Read our full-length news bulletin in response to the email here.

There has been some confusion as to what this entails.  Most basically; digital technologies and virtual teaching techniques will have to substitute for in class lectures and in person meetings. For many of you the idea of transforming your course for online learning could seem intimidating, time-intensive and an infringement upon your academic freedom.

We are in contact with the administration and TLSS to mobilize resources to help you. Given that the University is grappling with a major disruptive event, we need to be understanding and patient. The administration has fully acknowledged that as professor, whether APUO or APTPUO, you will have final say in terms of how your course will be adapted for distance learning.

Here are a few quick strategies for transforming your course:

Course ComponentOld FormatPotential Alternative
Office HoursScheduled in officeHold office hours through email or hold online meeting using telecommunication applications.


LecturesIn class PowerPointsRecord audio into PowerPoint slides and post on Bright Space OR assign readings as an alternative to lecture.

Record video of your lectures using screen-capture technology.

Essays or written assignmentsPrint and turn in physical copy to mark by penUse Bright Space to enable student to turn in assignments virtually OR  mark .doc or .docx files via “track changes.”
Final ExamsIn class examSwitch to a take-home format with digital submission through Bright Space.
QuizzesSet up a quiz in Bright Space.


This situation is evolving very rapidly and the APTPUO is working to ensure to keep you up to date and that the resources developed will serve the particular needs of APTPUO members.

Further Information